Series Salem spotlight - Kimmel Racing

Kimmel Racing Ramped Up with New Title Sponsor Headed to Salem; Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 Coming Sunday, April 5 SALEM IN (3-31-09) - When the newly-formed Kimmel Racing rolled through the gates at Salem Speedway in last year's ARCA RE/MAX...

Kimmel Racing Ramped Up with New Title Sponsor Headed to Salem; Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 Coming Sunday, April 5

SALEM IN (3-31-09) - When the newly-formed Kimmel Racing rolled through the gates at Salem Speedway in last year's ARCA RE/MAX Series race, they had no title sponsor and no idea how they were going to get through the year.

Still yet, Frank and his brother/crew chief Bill Kimmel soldiered through the season, won three races - including the fall event at Salem - and finished second in championship points, just 50 markers away from 2008 series champ Justin Allgaier.

But oh what a difference one year can make.

Enter 2009 when Kimmel Racing is wicked up with a brand new title sponsor - Ansell-Menards. From here, the sky is surely the limit.

"This sponsorship program reenergized the entire Kimmel Racing organization," Kimmel said. "The support of Ansell Gloves and Menards allows us to continue to pursue our goals of attempting to earn another ARCA RE/MAX Series championship."

Kimmel's championship quest continues this weekend at his hometown Salem Speedway where the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care rolls off Sunday afternoon, April 5, the 85th appearance of the series at Salem since 1955.

Thanks to Ansell and Menards, Kimmel Racing's immediate goals for this season - win races, a 10th championship and top the all-time win record - are, without question, within reach.

In addition, the long term goal to build a strong ARCA team that can win with whoever might be the driver seems more attainable with the support of such key sponsors.

"With my son, Frank II, and Bill's son, Will moving up and doing a great job winning races and championships, the future of Kimmel Racing is in them," added Frank. "I feel like Kimmel Racing can carry me to the end of my career and can also be the beginning of Frank II and Will's career. That's why we're working so hard to build Kimmel Racing."

Born and raised in nearby Clarksville, Indiana, Kimmel's the hometown favorite at Salem if there ever was one, which means throngs of fans always pour through the gates at the renowned, legendary short-track wearing their favorite Frank t-shirt, ready to root on their local hero.

He's also become the villain - the guy the other half loves to hate. And there's no in between. You're either on his side or you're not.

"It's kind of neat, really," said Kimmel, a 9-time winner at Salem. "Half the people there are rooting for me and the other half aren't, and they're not afraid to let you know. It seems about half and half these days. Either way, I think they know we're there."

Not only are the race fans keenly aware of Kimmel's Salem presence, so are the very best teams in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, who know as well as anyone that he's always the guy to beat when the gates open up at Salem.

In addition to chasing an unprecedented 10th series championship, Kimmel, with 74 career wins, is currently second on the all-time series win list, trailing Iggy Katona's all-time mark of 79 wins.

"It's hard to believe we've won that many; it's unreal. But I'd definitely like to surpass Iggy's record. It's a huge deal for me."

This Sunday's race marks Kimmel's 31st ARCA start at Salem since 1992.

"The competition is getting tougher and tougher all the time over here. And, getting back to Salem, that old track isn't getting any easier. That track is just so challenging, so much to do, so much to think about. It's a lot of fun, but the minute you think it's easy, you're in a wreck.

"As much as we love to race all the guys in this series, at Salem, you have to race the track. If you get to racing each other, you're probably gunna be in the middle of wreck. That track is that challenging, and the minute you take your mind off it, that's when you wreck."

On-track activity at Salem begins Saturday, April 4 with ARCA RE/MAX Series practice from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 3:30 PM ET. The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care takes the green flag at 2:15 PM ET Sunday, April 5.

-credit: arca

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Series ARCA